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Question DetailsAsked on 3/26/2017

How difficult/costly to raise half-cathedral ceiling to level w/ high side @ 12 ft., low 8 ft. in 13 X40 room?

Mid century 3 level hill house with split cathedral ceiling with unattractive exposed beams. This is a very narrow living room on top floor, 13 X 40, and the entrance level to the house which is 20 stairs below grade. The room has a 10 by 40 deck, too. This ceiling looks very funky. Would like to raise the low side of the roof/ceiling from 8 feet to 14 feet to match the high side, and expand out into the deck to make the room about 16 X 40 or bigger. The area attached to deck is all windows, and need them replaced anyway. Can I do this on just this floor, how hard, and about how expensive? Will be about a 600 square foot room when finished. Will add a lot to value as high $ per square foot in our town, not to mention the aesthetics. Thansk!

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2 Answers


Below are some previous similar questions with answers which might help - but obviously you need an architect with structural engineer to work up sone conceptual plans and conceptual cost estimate, because this is a major revision - though being on the top floor certainly makes it easier and almost certainly can be done without any or at least not any significant modifications lower down.

Note you said will add a lot of value because house footage is valuable in your town - which likely means that construciton costs are high too. For this sort of thing, granted the living room is long and narrowish, but I think you will be lucky to recover more than about 60% of cost at resale time unless this room has an impressive overlook. Realize, this is going to be a fair chunk of change to gain only a few feet in house bumpout, so expensive per SF.

Bear in mind, if on the downhill side of the house, extending the roof over the deck a few feet should not be too difficult - but pushing the outer wall out also (as opposed to maybe putting an aluminum sunroom or such on the deck) may be quite expensive if it is 20-30 feet down to the ground. Personally, I would contrast this case with making little or no change in the room and putting a sunroom or solarium outside - connected with large glass doors through the glass curtain wall as appropriate or even opening up the glass curtain wall.

Architect may be able to help with the funky ceiling thing if you decide not to modify the ceiling inside - concealing some or all beams in drywall or in soffits, draping with decorative tapestries or flags of your favorite country to states or colleges or hobbies or such or even just artsy colored tapestry draped over the or below the beam for instance.

There are two ways to do this - first is to modify the roof and raise the low side, other is to totally remove the roof over that room and modify wall(s) as needed and put new roof on - depending on how old the roof is, the latter is commonly cheaper in your sort of case and if the roof is getting old is going to need replacing soon anyway, so doing it now as part of the roof reframing/room pushout might make good sense.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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